Yeah, I’m de­lighted

The Covington News - - THE SECOND OPINION -

Con­grat­u­la­tions! If you’re read­ing this, it means you sur­vived the Mayan cal­en­dar’s al­leged pre­dic­tion of to­tal world de­struc­tion. But, if the world has been de­stroyed, then you’re not read­ing this, and I just wasted a per­fectly good “con­grat­u­la­tions” on a bunch of cos­mic dust. Ei­ther way, let’s move to to­day’s topic: cloy­ing cus­tomer ser­vice. “Cloy­ing” isn’t a word that peo­ple use too of­ten. When I first learned it many years ago, a friend ac­cused me of mak­ing it up. I took that as flat­tery, but I was an ego­tist back then and took most ev­ery­thing short of a slap in the face as flat­tery. I could have re­ferred to cus­tomer ser­vice as ob­se­quious or pan­der­ing, but I like cloy­ing. It’s that men­tal­ity that says, “We ex- ist to de­light the cus­tomer.” De­light! That’s what I’m talk­ing about, and that’s why I’m call­ing it cloy­ing.

Let’s say you’re a man­u­fac­turer, and I just used some of your toi­let pa­per. Do you really think I’m go­ing to walk around telling ev­ery­one how “de­lighted” I was with the ex­pe­ri­ence? What kind of per­son would do that? Maybe you’re a den­tist. Am I sup­posed to be de­lighted that you drilled in my mouth and made me talk like a drunken Con­gress­man? Now, if you sell choco­late, cof­fee or those smelly lit­tle per­fumed soaps, I’m happy to be­ing de­lighted. That’s some­thing I can ad­mit in mixed com­pany, although I’m not likely to men­tion the lit­tle soaps while I’m down at the hard­ware store. Be­sides, I’m not in­ter­ested in be­ing de­lighted all day long. It’s ex­haust­ing to be de­lighted. On some days, I just want to be “ig­nored,” es­pe­cially by the prod­ucts I own. So, may I rec­om­mend some dif­fer­ent slo­gans, please?

Maybe cus­tomers should just be “served.” “We ex­ist to serve the cus­tomer.” Serv­ing works for the mil­i­tary. If they can serve, why can’t compa- nies? Or maybe cus­tomers should just be “pleased.” We used to be happy with just be­ing pleased. That would sure be bet­ter than any­one say­ing, “We ex­ist to en­rap­ture, fas­ci­nate and en­chant the cus­tomer.” Look, I don’t know what the proper in­fini­tive is, but it’s not “to de­light.” Heck, even mar­riage vows don’t re­quire any­one to “de­light” the other. Do you ex­pect more love and re­spect from your socks than you do from your spouse? Don’t an­swer that, or I might re­con­sider my de­light about the world not end­ing. As­sum­ing it didn’t…

David McCoy, a no­to­ri­ous sto­ry­teller and proud Yel­low Jacket, lives in Cov­ing­ton and can be reached at davm­c­coy@ bell­


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